Why do you have a Website for your small business?
Sure, a big goal is getting the attention of your ideal client and letting them know what you have to offer. And getting your name out there is always good too. But just doing that is not enough.
If you’re going to invest all that time, money and effort, you want to get clients or customers too, right?
In other words, the real goal of any marketing—including your Website—is to get people to take action…
Whether that’s visiting another page on your site, calling for an appointment, registering for a call, signing up for a freebie, or busting out a credit card and buying something right now.
The thing is, most entrepreneurs forget all about this when they’re working on their Website. So they spend a ton of time and/or money creating a (hopefully) professional site that is basically just a bunch of company info.
They talk about who a company is, what they do, how they do it and who their clients are. Then add a contact page and wait for something to happen.
Only it never does. Or if it does, the results are nowhere near what they’d hoped for.
Chances are their site simply wasn’t planned, designed or written to move people through the sales process and get a response.
That means there is something important that probably missing. And you can add to your Website—and every piece marketing and advertising you create—to dramatically increase response rates!
It’s a “call to action”!
What, exactly, is a call to action?
Fundamentally, it’s where you tell someone exactly what to do next if they are interested in what you are offering. A perfect example can be found on any infomercial. It’s where the announcer says “Call 1-800-buy-this within the next 30 seconds to get your super juicer and the special, bonus slicer-thingy for just $9.95”
In a print ad, it might be “Visit www.dogtricks.com to get your F*ree report 7 Fun Tricks You can Teach Any Dog”
On a Website, it could be as simple as “Visit my services page (insert link) to learn more about what I can do for your business…” Or “Call Jennie at 867-5309 and mention this offer to save 50% on your first consultation”.
Even a “Buy Now” button is a call to action.
Why is a call to action so important?
“If you don’t tell someone what to do next, there’s no telling what they might do.”
Life is busy and full of interruptions. Even if someone is ready and willing to buy, they might not be sure what to do next if you don’t tell them. Or they could end up going to the bathroom, answering the phone, or clicking to another Website as easily as calling you.
It’s up to you to know what action would make the most sense—both to meet your customers’ information needs and your business goals. Then let prospects know how to take that action.
Five steps to writing a powerful call to action
STEP 1: Decide exactly what you want someone to do after they read each page on your Website. Then write your copy to lead them to the decision that taking that action makes good sense to them.
STEP 2: People need a good reason to take action. So make them a specific offer they can’t refuse. These days, a f*ree consultation isn’t enough. A lot of folks think this will just be a pitch-filled waste of time. Ditto for just saying sign up for my f*ree e-newsletter. Who wants more random stuff filling up their inbox?
STEP 3: Tell them exactly what to do to take advantage of your offer. IE: Do X to get Y
STEP 4: Make it painfully easy. Put the phone number, link, sign up box or BUY NOW button right there. Don’t assume they’ll take time search for it.
STEP 5: Whenever possible, add incentive with limited availability (only 10 left!), deadlines, or special sale prices. People are busy. The more reasons you can give them to take action now, the more likely they are to do so.
That’s it. Give ‘em a good reason to take action, tell ‘em what to do, and make it easy as pie to do so. You’ll be amazed at how many people do.
Check out The Unchained Entrepreneur for more articles by Stacy Karacostas